California Fractional Gold: Some learn, some persist on Proxibid

When eBay banned replicas from its site, we started seeing copies turn up on Proxibid, especially fake California gold coins. We report the items. Sometimes auctioneers take down lots. Sometimes we get them to admit these are plated tokens. They are not; they are replicas. Coin dealers have been calling them tokens for decades, and they should know better. Here are recent fake lots from last week on the portal, with shout-outs for Munda and Janzen auctions.

This is a prime example of a fake California gold replica being sold on Proxibid without the auctioneer showing the reverse of the lot, which is how one distinguishes real California gold with use of a monetary amount (25 cents, 50 cents, Dollar, Dol., D., etc.). Click to expand photos.


Here are more fakes on Proxibid. You are almost assured of a fake if you see a bear on the reverse, as depicted below.


Bottom-tier slabs do not guarantee an authentic coin. This is a plated base metal piece that appeared in a Proxibid event by an auctioneer who knows better, especially when we report it and call him out by name in our “Report this Item” warning.


That said, we are making progress with this issue. And some auctioneers understand how these fakes have harmed the hobby since the 19th century when the Secret Service began cracking down on token-makers. Here is how Munda Auctions described the fakes as (“fantasy, not genuine”):


Here is how Janzen Auction correctly described the replica:


To learn more about this pervasive issue in online auctions, see this post.

Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.


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